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Showing posts from January, 2016

PA day February 1st, 2016

A reminder that February 1st is a PA day for staff and there is no school for students. Enjoy the long weekend!

What's Initiative?

This week we had our Character Assembly celebrating the trait "Initiative" which was hosted by our Kindergarten students. They reminded us that having initiative means..."doing things that we need to do even without being told." Such as... "Doing my homework without being told." "Cleaning my room without being told." "Helping a friend without being told." Having initiative is also knowing how to solve problems ourselves. We teach our children to see a problem, create a plan to solve it, try it out and check back to see if its been solved. If it has not, we need to make a new plan and try again. Perseverance and initiative work together and are life skills. That's all about having a growth mindset! Perseverance is also the character trait that we our focussing on in February. Great to hear even our youngest students learning these important life lessons so well...   

New PA day May 6th, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians, I am writing today to let you know that as a result of provincial labour negotiations, a P.A. Day has been added for all York Region District School Board elementary schools on Friday, May 6, 2016 and secondary schools on Friday, June 3, 2016. You can see the full updated school year calendars on YRDSB’s website: . These additional P.A. Days are mandated by the Ministry of Education. On these dates, teachers will be taking part in professional development on provincial education priorities identified by the Ministry of Education. Thank you for your continued support.

Reading is Thinking!

Decode it!  Here are some resources you could use when reading with your children at home. For new readers, children learn to "decode" a word so they can read the word.  The strategies on the blue poster give the reader ways to figure out or understand a new word that they are trying to read. On the poster you have descriptions of of strategies like breaking up the word into the letter sounds, "chunk it" or "looking at the picture" on the page to get a clue to what the word means.   Print this out and put it on your fridge to help your child read!      Understand it!  Reading is more than just understanding the words, it is understanding the meaning of what you are reading. This red poster below has strategies to help students make meaning from what they are reading. These reading comprehension strategies are being used at school with all ages from grade 1-8. Understanding the strategies you use to make sense of what you are reading is called meta

Westminster is getting a face-lift!

You may have heard from your children that we have two terrific painters in for the next few weeks to paint our hallways and areas of our school. It's amazing how uplifting a fresh coat of paint can be and we are so glad that they are here. Our students have shown care around their equipment and are trying to be mindful of their surroundings to allow them to complete their work. They have also been very polite to our guests. Many have thanked them for making our school beautiful. All paints used are water-based and fast drying, issued to standard by the Board. If anyone has any questions please feel free to call the school.  This is just part of our ongoing efforts to upgrade our lovely but "seasoned" school...

Our Literacy Day!

We had such a great time at our Literacy Day celebrations!  We started by partnering off our younger students with their older reading buddies. Together they came to our Literacy Day Assembly and sat side by side to listen to a story read-aloud by Ms Porat. We looked at the author's message of the book. We also discussed how the character solved his problem and showed a growth mindset. Then we talked about our social goal and how we would work collaboratively with our reading buddies when reading our own favourite books. Check out the video clip of the book reading...    After our assembly we split off into different rooms throughout the school with our reading buddies and started reading...and reading....and talking and reading some more.....   Finally, we worked collaboratively to create a picture about our favourite part of the story or our favourite part of Literacy Day.  We had a great time learning together and we can't wait to do it again!  Thank y

Ideas for Family Literacy Week!

ABC Life Literacy Canada encourages families to have “15 Minutes of Fun” learning together every day. Engaging in literacy activities as a family improves a child’s skills and also helps adults keep their skills sharp. Here are a few ideas to get your family started from the ABC Life Literacy Canada website.  Remember, these activities can be enjoyed after Family Literacy Week too! Lights out, talk on : After your bedtime story, turn the lights off and talk about new endings to the story you just read together. Surfing Snacks : Go online together to find out how your favourite foods are made. Are they something you can make together at home? Find A-B-C : Have an alphabet scavenger hunt to look for things that begin with each letter of the alphabet. If you can’t find some letters, go outside or try looking in books and magazines. Travel the World : Use your library card as your passport to check out books on different countries. Learn about their tradition

It's PJ Spirit day and Literacy Day January 27th!

Let's snuggle up and read!  It's Pajama day! A reminder to send your children to school in their comfortable and warm pajamas to participate in our PJ spirit day in honour of Literacy Day on Wednesday, January 27th.  They can also bring one of their favourite stuffed animals to read with them (but maybe not their absolute "favourite" one in case he runs away....).  Remember too that all our students will still need to go outside for recess so make sure they either have a change of clothes or wear their warm clothing as well as their PJs. Such a fun day at school !

What's Family Literacy Week?

This week is Family Literacy Week!  Although at school we promote the importance of focussing on literacy skills everyday and every week, each year, a week in January has been dedicated to promoting literacy at home as well.  Families all over Canada and many countries throughout the world join us in promoting this focus.   At WPS we will be having a Literacy Day for our students on Wednesday. Older children will be reading buddies for younger children and together they will be working on a collaborative literacy activity. Our students always love the opportunity to work and learn with different grades. It will also by PJ spirit day!  So, send your child to school in their comfortable pajamas so they can snuggle down while they read.  We will share more about this very popular day in blogs later this week. So stay tuned for some cute pictures!  We will also be posting different resources and suggestions  throughout the week that you can use to help you support your children

Tragedy in Saskatchewan

We are all deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred on Friday afternoon in the community of La Loche in Saskatchewan. Our thoughts are with the families and those affected. It is important to keep in mind that an event like this is rare, especially in Canada. Schools are one of the safest places for children and youth during the school day, and an important place for them to receive support and return to normalcy. Communication and collaboration among the school, parents, and community is critical to ensure that our students continue to view schools as safe, caring, and supportive environments. Further, how adults react to this tragedy can shape the way children and youth react and their perceptions of safety. Board staff can reinforce students’ sense of safety by: making classrooms predictable and welcoming, providing access to mental health supports as needed, and connecting families with other available resources after school hours   Families are encouraged

Social and Emotional Learning

At school, along with the academic subjects, we also teach and report on your child's growth in learning skills and work habits. Their social and emotional abilities can be seen in such areas as self-regulation, collaborate and initiative. It is now well established that social and emotional skills, such as the ability to manage one’s emotions and get along with others, play an integral role in academic and life success.   "Evidence supporting this statement is illustrated in several recent studies. Students who are provided social and emotional learning programs significantly improved their social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance that reflected an 11-percentile-point gain in achievement." Durlak et al. (2011)   As we are discovering at WPS, by consistently teaching these skills in every learning environment the tone of the school improves and is making an impact on a positive school climate. As research and our own observations h

We're going to BORC!

Each year, students in Grades 2, 4 and 7 get the opportunity to spend the day outdoors at  BORC, The Burlington Outdoors Resource Centre in Kleinburg.  On Friday, January 22 our Grade 2 students are looking forward to learning about nature, animals and our environment during their day at BORC.  Next week, January 25, our Grade 4s will be going and January 26, is our Grade 7's turn. Children are asked to dress appropriately for the weather.  We're sure they are going to have a fun-filled and educational day.

Milk and Lunch Orders now available

What's for lunch?  The new session for lunch options and milk orders are now available on online.  If you have not yet registered for this safe and convenient system, please do so by going to .   You will need your child's student ID numbers which is the number they use to log into their computer accounts. You can ask your children or call into the school for assistance.   Paper order forms have also gone home this week.  Each child needs their own order form but payment can be combined into one cheque.  Lunch option orders are all due January 29th. Sushi, subway and pasta lunch options go until April. Pizza and milk orders run until June. Thanks to our School Council for organizing this service for our community. Food options are as follows:  Mondays:            - Sushi from D'lites                             - Lunch Lady                    Tuesdays:            - Subway Sandwich                              - Milk Wedne

Triple P - Positive Parenting Seminars Available

Our Westminster community has been invited to attend free Triple P Positive Parenting Seminar Series hosted at either Woodbridge P.S. or Discovery P.S. coming up in February.  These interactive parenting sessions provide terrific strategies to help support parents with children aged birth to 12 years old.  Last year, Westminster hosted similar sessions which were well received by many who have said that the strategies shared have helped them with their children. Consider attending for the first time or going for a refresher.  Please see the flyers enclosed for more information and how to register.

School Council Meeting Wednesday, January 20th

A reminder to all WPS parent/guardians of our School Council meeting this Wednesday, January 20th at 7:00 p.m.  Please come out and hear about our school initiatives and events and get to know other parents committed to our school. We would be grateful of your input and partnership. Parent engagement is very important to enhancing the school culture and making our school the best it can be for your children! Hope to see many of you there, whether you are a regular or a newcomer...all are welcome! Childcare will be available.  

Junior Volleyball Tournament Monday!

Volleyball has proven to be another very popular team sport at Westminster.  Our Junior students have been practicing their volleyball skills during their lunch hour for the past few weeks and are getting really good!  Great sportsmanship is being demonstrated as well.  A highly motivated team was chosen to go to the Area tournament this upcoming Monday.   Good luck to the following athletes: Sarah K.            Jamie Y.         Maya K.        Arren J.         Aryana E.  Michelle M.        Nate Y.           Aylin G.        Mike  B.         Ethan S. Anne-Marie J.    Eitan S.          Anisha M.     Danny D.       Oden D.

PA day January 15th, 2017

A reminder that Friday, January 15th, 2017 is a PA day.  There is no school for students.   See you Monday.   Have a great weekend!

WPS Blog Viewer Survey

We would appreciate your input! Please fill out this quick survey to give us important feedback about our blog and communication at our school.  Thank you for your time!   WPS Blog Viewer Survey Also, you are encouraged to send us your comments about individual blogs in the reply box at the bottom of each blog post.  Please note that all comments go through a monitoring process before being posted.  

BBBSY After School Program Starting Wednesday, January 13

A reminder that the Big Brothers and Big Sisters after school program is starting Wednesday, January 13th. Those students from Grades 3-6 who have already registered for this program are to go to the gym right after school at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Parents/guardians are reminded that they must make arrangements for their children to be picked up at 5:00 p.m. after the program each Wednesday. This sports program with a focus on social skills is fully run by the Big Brothers  and Big Sister Association of York Region (BBBSY). Thanks to parents from our School Council for working to bring this community partnership to Westminster.  BBBSY is a community oriented association aimed at providing positive adult role models to our youth. It runs other free programs and individual mentoring that may be of interest to families with children of all ages. For more information visit their website at

Westminster is going to the All-Star NBA!

Wow! We are so excited to announce that five of our most skilled basketball players have been given the opportunity to take part in the Junior All-Star NBA Basketball clinic !  On February 12th, our athletes will be joining 100 students from all over York Region and many more from the Greater Toronto Area to participate in a variety of basketball drills and meet NBA players including Toronto Raptors and other All-Star NBA players in town for the All-Star game. Max B., Nadav I., Atakan G., Simon S. and Sarah E. in grade 7 and 8 are our skilled players who will be representing our school.  We know they will do an amazing job and learns tons.  We look forward to hearing all about it when they get back.  Stay tuned for a follow-up blog on this in February! Go Wildcats!

Kindergarten Registration starts January 15, 2016

New Kindergarten Registration for the 2016-2017 year at Westminster P.S. begins January 15th. Please bring your child's birth certificate and proof of address when registering.   We will be having a Welcome to Kindergarten Information Night in early May to answer all your questions about the Full Day Kindergarten Program (FDK) and our school.  More information will be available to you after registration.     

French Immersion Information Night

For those parents/guardians who wish to enroll their Senior Kindergarten children into the French Immersion program next year in Grade 1, there is an information night hosted at our FI school, L.H. Frechette on January 14th, 7:00 p.m.   Registration for FI is between January 15th-February 12th.  Parents must request an Office Index Card with your child's information signed by the principal from your home school and take it to L.H. Frechette P.S. within these dates to register your child.   Parents who will be moving their children from Westminster P.S. for next year are asked to inform our office directly as soon as possible to assist us with projections for next year's class organizations.    Thank you. 

Grade 8 High School Information

To parent/guardians of our Grade 8 students, there will be a Grade 8 High School Parent Information Night at Vaughan S.S. January 13th 7:00 p.m. Representatives from Vaughan S.S. will also be coming to speak to our Grade 8 students about course selection on Thursday, January 14th.

Such Fun with Jungle Sport!

Our students (and staff) have been having so much fun developing their balancing skills with the climbing apparatus set up by Jungle Sport this week.  Here's a glimpse....

What's your family's New Year Resolutions?

So...about those new years resolutions...    As we ring in the new year, many of us take this time to make resolutions for how we can improve something in our lives for the year to come. The trick is to make a resolution that is important to you and that you believe can be achieved if you really commit to it.   For children, we can call these resolutions goals and at school we actually help them set goals for improvements in academic as well as learning and social skills throughout the year for each term.  Alyson Schafer, a parenting expert suggests that a family should consider making new year resolutions as well.... "January, for many, feels like a time to sit back, rest and reflect on what changes they want to make in the coming year.  How do we know what changes need to happen in the new year if we don't spend some time doing a little analysis from the year we are leaving behind?  I like the idea of a family report card!" According to Dolores Curra

Red Cross Babysitting Course

Interested students in Grade 6-8, 11 years and older,  are invited to join a Red Cross Babysitting certificate course on the PA day January 15th, 2016 9:00-3:30 p.m. This course will be located at L.H. Frechette E.S. (New Westminster and Steeles). "This babysitting course is taught by fun, well-trained facilitators with first aid certification and teaching experience. You'll get the chance to practice diapering, feeding, discussion and problem-solving exercises will help you be confident on a babysitting job." Registration forms with payment are due to the school on Friday, January 8th and are available at the school or downloaded from this page below.     

Dinner Talk!

As some of you may have noticed, getting children to talk about their day may not always be an easy thing to do.  Even so, for many students, reflecting on the events of the day help them process their learning and encourage longer retention and greater application of what they have learned at school into their every day life. Parents too can become more involved with their children's school life when they know what is going at school. Here are some great questions to help get them talking around the dinner table or anywhere. Ideas for dinner talk! Liz Evans, blogger featured on an online parent magazine, shared 25 great ways of starting the conversation with your child: 1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?) 2. Tell me something that made you laugh today. 3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?) 4. Where is the coolest pla

Jungle Sport is coming....!

Starting tomorrow, January 5-8, our gym will be transformed into a rock climbing jungle!   What an exciting way to begin the new year at school. Remember to make sure your children have their indoor sneakers and are wearing comfortable clothing this whole week.  It is very important that all consent forms have been returned to your classroom teachers as well so that everyone can participate.  Without consent, children will not be able to participate with their classes. Fun athletic activities for all!    

Back to School January 4th, 2016

Happy New Year!   We're back... The holidays are almost over and our WPS blog will be starting up again soon...did you miss us? 😊 We hope that everyone had a good rest and happy to be coming back to school. There's lots more learning to do in 2016.  So lets buckle down and get started.... We look forward to seeing our students back on Monday, January 4th, 2016.  First New Years Resolution is.....don't be late for school! Welcome back!